Camp kline

There is a Boy Scout camp at Bonnell Flats which we have passed many times. We stopped to investigate for the first time yesterday in the continuing drizzle. We passed several newly built lean-to shelters but what attracted our interests and attentions most were the older structures. The abandoned camp included an infirmary, a workshop, a storage shed, a combined well house and electrical shed, and three capacious bunk houses. It was clear, even from the short distance which separates the camp from the trail, that this place was of a vintage that placed its original construction somewhere in the 1960s. It had been abandoned and vandalized. What struck us however was that the vandalism was of an unusual sort. Sure there were signs that kids had forced the padlocks but the majority of the damage had been wrought by the weather and by opportunistic plants and animals. A large Pine lay across the corner of the storage shed, a large hole in the roof and collapsed walls were evidences of its impact. The roofs of the other structures were waterlogged and populated by molds and other fungi. The tiled floors were covered with a thick layer of the evidences of rodents. There were may holes in the outside walls where they met the floor.  I do not think these were produced by human feet or hands. There was something about the patterned tooth marks around the circumferences of these that told of the modus operandi used by rodents and other four-legged creatures to gain access to the relative warmth and shelter of the bunk houses. Mattresses, bed springs, chair, desks, and several wood stoves … abandoned and subject to the degrading influence of neglect were all there. Why, we thought, had sound and useful structures been abandoned? We do not know. Perhaps there had been a time, in the history of this camp, when Scouts simply did not come. Or perhaps the cost of upkeep exceeded whatever income the camp was able to generate. In any case, letting these structures succumb to the inexorable pull of entropy seems a shame.



%d bloggers like this: